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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Vaganova question


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Is it typical in Vaganova training to be given extremely specific instruction on where everything is placed? Like right down to the pinky finger? Also for classical variations to be taught with exact placement? Or is it just the style of some teachers to be so specific?

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Yes, in Vaganova training students are taught exactly how and where everything is placed, as well as how everything is done. A good teacher will be extremely specific and demanding about it all. Yes, even down to the pinky fingers! :rolleyes: A teacher who is teaching the program the way it is supposed to be taught will follow the methodology. The method does not include a personal style of teaching. A teacher's personality or style of teaching is whatever it is but the method has requirements of accomplishment. Being very specific is one of the requirements, if one intends to teach it correctly.

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Thanks so much for your explanation vrsfanatic. That is exactly what I am getting from my teachers and sometimes I think I frustrate them by not getting it immediately. I've gone from training that claimed to be Vaganova, but really wasn't and was all about helping us to really dance passionately in our own style to being told "That's where the pinky finger goes." You get the idea? I'm 16 and really struggling to change the muscle memory I've developed. I do trust their teaching completely and feel they are strengthening me in ways I've never been before. And as a compliment to yourself, my teacher mentioned you as one of few Americans who teach Vaganova correctly. So I really appreciate your explanation.

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Sarahlyn, bear in mind that in all methods of ballet, the rudiments have to be fully trained in, then individual interpretations and nuances come in once the basics are down. Vaganova is one of the most methodical of methods, and takes a long time to get right, but that's not a drawback, in fact, I think it is one of its great strengths.

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Thank you for the compliment sarahlyn. :)

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